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Cal Osha 4, Flagger 3, Us 3, San Francisco 2, Gonzalez 2, Lagos 2, The 2, Mr. Rolner 1, Mr. Corbin 1, Mr. Hwang 1, Cathy Len 1, Tlc 1, The City 1, Honda 1, Appellant 1, Bds Understandable 1, Cal 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    November 1, 2013
    5:00 - 5:31pm PDT  

posterity from the contractor, of unsafe practices from cal osha that the department was not made aware of. those are handled for the specifically stated by the cal osha and there is a finding from all indications and as it relates to the contractor being hostile, and that is something that really is between the contractor and who hires them, along with the neighbors. that have the issues and there is nothing that the department can do from that perspective, to dictate that aspect of the issues that is being raised. but we can, again, say that it is that, the permit that the department did issue was to occupy, that portion of the right-of-way and usually the parking lane and in some cases the sidewalk, to provide, for the construction operation to the arborwell in this case, at
two specific locations and we believe that the department really did nothing wrong in providing these permit and there has been no complaints until, you know, until it has to contact them and it was issued correctly, and you know, they had that appeal and so, that is with the board right now. we are able to answer any questions that you may have. >> mr. corbin, the, the permits are there special conditions related to them in terms of (inaudible). >> yes, there are. when someone applied for these types of permit, they will tell us that the dates, that the durations that they plan to occupy and the scope of the occupation and what equipment they plan on putting out there and specifically temporary, and for the short term operations and no more than a day, or five days maximum. and in this case, the application was very specific that they were going to have some out there and they were
going to have a chipper out there and they were going to have the certain equipment as it relates to the tree trimming or removal. and that would allow with the traffic control and that was the scope of the permit application. >> what do you mean by the traffic control? >> usually in these kinds of cases cones, and construction signage and things like that. >> is it required personnel? >> that, the, the requirement as it relates to the possible flag as being suggested under the mta blue book, and also, under and governed by cal trans in these kinds of cases, are, you know, what the traffic and requirement would ship and need to be >> and are you aware whether mta requires that for this kind of permit? >> in the low volume traffic areas like this, i believe what
happened is if you delineate the cones and the signage that this construction zone ahead and there is no need for a flagger. >> if there are complaints related to what is permitted and what is not permitted. is that under your department to investigate? >> if there is a complaint that someone is occupying without a permit, the department will investigate, yes. >> and did you receive any complaints? >> i don't remember. i mean there is a suggestion here that the complaint was made to the department. i do not have the records in front of me and so i cannot speak to it. >> okay. >> question, would you have any reason when issuing a permit of this nature that the applicant in terms of a safety record or anything of that nature, or are you just looking at the plan that they are submitting and making sure that if you will up
to code? >> and in this case, what the department does is based upon the information provided to us, we view the application and based on that information, only and there is no way that we will be able to identify whether there has been a safety issue previously with the applicant. >> i have a question, mr. hwang. >> what determines whether a permit is required for the tree trimming and require a permit? at this point? >> i do believe, that there is an upcoming appeal for the tree removals of such of the area, however, i am and i know that tree trimming on the whole does not require a permit. and >> sorry to interrupt. is there a certain threshold that then requires a permit? >> for the tree trimming, no. what we, believe that the website is clear that they
should contact a arborist of how much can be done without damaging the tree, for the tree removals there are significant requirement as it relates to the certain trees and that is off of the public right-of-way. and if there is the trees to be removed in the public right-of-way, a permit is required by the department. >> okay, but if it is not in the public right-of-way and on the private property it does not require. >> there are certain thresholds that need to be evaluated and i think that the urban forester, at some point, later discussed that as it relates to the appeal for the tree removal permit for this board. >> okay, thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. any comment on this item? >> my name is cathy len and i
am with the park merced action coalition. and it is my understanding and maybe i am wrong, that their permits were suspended, bearing investigation of their safety record. so, i can testify to the way that i knew that i felt that the permits were suspended and they did come out, and they were double parked down on brotherhood way and they started to cut trees. so, the question is was their permit suspended? and were they cutting with the suspended permit? that is my question. the speaker said that this was in 2003. and we have discussed this with various tree experts and your chance of being killed is about
as much of being hit by lightning if not less. and so regarding to the complaints, we have called the city 311 and numerous, and four complaints today and we had very little reaction from the city. so, i am very clear on that. so that is what i can testify in regard to their safety, ability. and their pruning abilities are another story, which i will address in a month. thank you. >> next speaker, please? >> good evening, members of the board, and i am dianne park hill and i am a resident of the park merced and my first encounter with them was in february of this year, i did a presentation but i am going to kind of skip through it because i only have three minutes but
it has pictures. and we have here and i first met him last week when arborwell was pruning a tree in front of the court yards but one of the trucks was blocking a right-of-way and he pulled his truck up behind it and stuck the cone out and checked on the progress. and so there was no permit and no 72-hour notice, for the occupantcy permit and this was last week. yeah. >> and sorry, and so this is a picture of, in february that was taken a half of a block from my house, and i did not receive any notice that any tree work was going to be done and there are no street permits, and working permits
posted anywhere, and they are blocking in an entire intersection that the buses do run through, park merced and various and (inaudible) but there is open to traffic and there is a parking garage right there and there is no flagger directing traffic. and i asked, you know, the tree instead and one of the pruners just said that it is dead and they are cutting down the two trees in a matter of a couple of hours and you call and make a complaint, they are gone and, and it is my understanding that the planning has to come out and witness the violation. in order for them to issue a citation. and then, a lot of work where they didn't plan on doing on trying to figure out how to report a violation or just concerns with work practices,
of which specific tree company i had concerns and it was. and i did, and on this corner and this was a different street and the permits on this one, posted and there was a permit posted but they are working outside of the hours and they were blocking the traffic and i did witness a muni bus and i had to stop and there was nobody directing traffic, and the only time that i actually witnessed him, and at any of these sites was a week ago, and where i said, hey, and i took the pictures and there was i was allowed on the street. and he said, what do you think that i should do? >> and i think that you should do what all other san franciscans are expected to do go and practice the business if you are going to do the business in san francisco, you got to follow the rules. so, i have more to say, but
there is not enough time. i appreciate your taking the time to consider this. it is complex issue, and it is unusual. it is a development and there is nobody mitigating. >> miss, do you make a reference to notice, what type of notice are you talking about? >> the temporary occupantcy permit, when it is issued is it states on the form that 72 hour notice of street closures must be posted. on the little... >> and you are saying that you did not see any posted? >> they have never been posted for any of the work that i have witnessed which is on brotherhood and garces and several others, and they are just, in and out, and the workers are, you know, bds
understandable they are defensive, but it is really a brutal tactics and it is frustrating. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> is there any other public comment? okay, seeing none then we will have our rebuttal time, mr. lagos? >> thank you. okay, thank you, again, commissioners for listening to me and the other speakers. and i just wanted to point out to you that as this is something that i did not bring up before, but appeal number 13-120, the permit that was
issued for that particular tlc, we mentioned the address, 417-435 gon sal hes drive, and the work on brotherhood way, shows that there is a disconnect here and this is on the overhead for the record. >> and i don't know if you can see it there. but, they had the address listed at 417-435, gonzalez drive and the work was done on brotherhood way and that should tell you how this company works, they are deceptive and they do not post signs when ne do work. as she mentioned. and in terms of what mr. rolner said, here with the citation that they were cited for not following the safe work procedures and i will just put
it up here on the overhead. they were cited back in march for not following it. and they were fined for it and so i don't know what he is talking about in terms of their employees being trained well. they are not. and in terms of traffic, they are required by the state industrial labor standard commission to have a flagger on the street, when they are doing work and they had no flagger. and either on the garces drive or brotherhood way and it is just basic requirement of operating as a tree removal company and they were doing tree removals they were not doing tree pruning as maybe somebody might have said. they are doing tree removal.
the pictures that i presented can i, and am i misleading and i tried to make it sound like they might be misleading or that they showed, not ordinary pictures, the coning off of an area on a street does not necessarily mean that they have traffic control. you know? in terms of what mr. crane said, he believes that just having the cones out on the street means that you have traffic control. well it really doesn't. one of you asked from about this and it was said that we do have, a supervision on the street and we have it on the blue book, and so we, you know,
it raises a question, here is what the department says when it says to safety on the street and removal and we believe this a flagger is needed according to the state industrial labor rules. they say that it is a low volume traffic area, it is very high volume, especially during rush hour. very high volume. so, i am going to leave that, and i will let you decide but we believe that at the very least that these permits should be revoked and if they are to be reissued again, by the claims department, that they should be conditions imposed on any tree removal company, that is working in san francisco. and i think that there is a lot of liability involved, when the
city issues a permit of this type, to the company. and if you want to see anybody get hurt again, from a tree that falls because of an accident that occurred due to a industry cutting company, that is not following basic safety procedures. so on that note, i will leave it in your hands and i will let you decide tonight and on what the voting should be, thank you. >> and mr. lagos. >> yeah. >> you, you made several references to two things, one is the work without a permit. >> yes. >> and the second is the is the police reports on in suspension, and the only official documentation i see that relates to the cal osha
are the penalties, and then you will not... and you will be getting mean by the work without the permit and i see no documentation. >> and during the period of time, that two man crews out in last september, and took the trees down and it was our understanding that even that they will not operate the crane at the time or the wood chipper that they will have to have at the very least a flagger on the street when they are cutting these trees down, and they did not have that. and they did not have a flagger down, and because they did not have a flagger with them, it required that it was required that they have a permit in order to do any of that work. >> are you saying that the and we don't have copies of those previous permits, where mta may
impose a requirement, we have for this particular permit, and mta's permit indicates that it requires a flagger. >> yeah, i don't know. all that i know is what i have read in the industrial labor standards handbook is that they are supposed to have a flagger, and traffic controller on the street when the trees are being removed. if they are going to remove it and without at crane or a wood chipper. >> by the way, a lot of the work was still, and it has been left on the hillside on brotherhood way and it is not tonight or tomorrow and i see a lt of the work has been left there and a large sizes and the large pieces of trees are laying there on the hillside along brotherhood lane and so
that should tell you what the safety for the general public. and >> thank you. >> thank you. >> we can hear the rebuttal from the permit holder. >> finally we can agree on something, he is right there is a lot of wood on the hillside there, and stop from removing the wood because of why we are here this evening and as far as any other rebuttals, how we stand, and (inaudible) so, this permits are suspended so i could not park for the wood but i could continue doing the removals on the trees that don't require the permit which is up on this hillside if you drive and you will see in the middle, that it is outside of the zone that the pile short is interested in. and it has control over basically. and so, that is why, after the
suspension happened, there were workers out there working. and but they were not working right way and they were not working on the trees that required the permits. and then, the thing is yeah, i don't like the hostile mind, and the hostile that they are decent guys and they are trying to do their jobs and in very difficult circumstances. and that is it. that is all that i have to say. >> do you have an understanding about any 72-hour posting permit for these permits? or notice requirement? >> for the parking permits? >> correct. >> yes, i was aware that that was happening. >> those require posting? >> and it was suggested that they have not seen those, have you posted those with 72 hours notice? >> they are posted out on the site, more often than not, they are torn down and removed from the trees, and other places. >> but you maintain that you have.
>> correct. >> posted them? >> correct. >> and sir, the appellant has raised a number of issues related to your performance and lack thereof. primarily on the previous permits, did your previous permits look similarly to what was required on mta on this permit? >> i don't understand the question. >> let me rephrase that. the mta permit which is in addition to the dpw permit, requires a flagger. >> okay. >> did your previous permits require a flagger? >> you always have to have grounds for controlling traffic, yes, so did they actually say that we needed a flagger, i have no recollection
if it did or not, i would have to see the documentation. >> yes, we always have grounds men and people controlling traffic, and pedestrian traffic and we don't have guys in the trees and no one on the ground. >> so the photos you could not tell how many staff were there. >> you could not tell how many cones or signs were there either. >> i have a last question. when is a flagger required? >> we keep on hearing about the flaggers and so, i mean that is it when you are trimming, or is it when you are cutting a tree down? >> that is just, your parking guys, and just like i said and on these low impact seats, it is not required and on brotherhood way, it is absolutely required. but on garces where it is a residential street it is down to the company and the decision and policy and our procedure and policy is to have a flagger. >> it is determined that you
make a determination with the exception of brotherhood which has a high volume of cars to have a flagger or not have a flagger. >> thank you. >> i am not sure that is the case. the mta permit conditions it with a flagger. >> how do we find out what is required? >> good afternoon, commissioners the department of public works once again. i wanted to add certain information from the rebuttal from the appellant. for appeal number 1 3-120,, we must remember that gonzalez drive faces two frontages, the front of the house faces the drive and however the back of the house faces brotherhood way and that is why the permit of what was addressed to this property, the frontage is identified under the permit as
on brotherhood way. so if there was a suggestion that there was and planted a seed and that was not the case for the applicant or the department and we are obligated to provide obviously a location and if it means as a property address with a frontage on the back side, which is on a specific street, we will document it correctly as part of the permit. and again, in this case, there is a lot, this really is nothing that the department can't add at this point for the information that is being provided. and i am here to answer any additional questions that you may have. >> go ahead. >> who can we get clarification on regarding the flagger? >> i mean, so that we don't continue to see this case again? >> right. there are two separate things that i know of, one obviously is under the state requirements for the traffic control. and you know, when you close a lane and the flaggers and it is also governed by mta and upon
the daily evaluation. >> okay. >> and so when, when they, the permit in question, here, so when they close a road or whenever they put a heavy vehicle like a crane is there a permit required every time that they close a road or every time that they impede into traffic? >> the occupantcy permit for us is for people to occupy the parking lane and or the sidewalk for the construction or other related purposes. and the requirements established by mta have certain different requirements as it relates to how you occupy and what was suggested previously by the appellant was they had two-man crew and they were doing the tree trimming or the cutting, and the brotherhood way and that was on private property. and there was no permit. from the department obviously. and this is very similar to, for example, someone who has a
leak, or a plumbing issue on the building and they contact the plumber and the plumber will show up and they will not necessarily get a permit from the department. >> i understand that, so when we work on the public right-of-way, any time that they are trimming a tree and their vehicle is parked and removing that does require a permit? >> that will be correct, yes. >> okay. >> is there any way could you contact the mta or does our department contact them, regarding the flagger? >> well, the permit suggests that a flagger was required. >> for that permit, but in general, so that, you know, because the appellant has raised the question that he feels that a flagger is necessary, for the work that has been performed and is being performed now, in the past so i figured if we could get the clarification on that and then the appellant will be satisfied as to whether a flagger is required or not require. >> normally, where a flagger is required or not is determined through in this case the
additional permit issued by the mta and a special traffic permit. >> okay. i don't think that i got my answer, but i am okay. >> okay, commissioners the matter is submitted. >> >> well, i guess that i will start, because this whole hearing has me feeling a little unsatisfied in that i don't feel like that i have any standards by which i can judge if this permit was validly issued or not. dpw did not submit anything and the permit holder did not submit anything and i think that commissioner honda is luded to the fact that we don't what the standards are. and i don't feel able to decide if it is a permit at this point and i don't know how my fellow commissioners feel. >> >> there is some of that, and
however, i also you know, in reading briefs, there is a lot of statements being made but i have little documentation. and the only thing that shows up there for wrong doing was related to the cal osha penalties that occurred for some of the pruning operations. >> would you like to get additional information? >> i mean, i personally would. i mean, even the testimony here today, from dpw was not in my opinion, very definitive and so there is additional information that could help guide the board in regard to what the standards are for issuing this permit sow that we can judge those against what the allegations are from the appellant and then that will be helpful to me at least. >> so, there is a copy of the
permit. and it indicates what their specific requirements were for that permit. >> yeah, but the appellant as alluded to the standards in the mta and in the industrial relations standards, i don't know if those apply or not and i don't know what they are. so i guess what i am not understanding... >> they were required to have a flagger, it is checked as a requirement for the permit. >> right. >> but there are a lot of allegations in addition to that, whether the wood chipper was used properly, whether the traffic control was satisfacotry i don't have a basis to judge without the standards. >> i am not sure that they are going to be able to give us much because it seems to me that it is specific to each case and what will be relevant would be the requirements that were put on the permit and whether or